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He’s a simple kid, sweet, cute, nice, great personality. It was the middle of October; a tornado of wind blew in my face. Michael stood outside wearing his white sweat jacket and blue jeans. His clothes always gave away his personality. Anyone could tell he’s proper and also a little sensitive. He wore his cowboy boots and his hair flipped just the way I like it. I am honest with everybody until it comes to guys.
He sat next to me on the car ride. The sun peaked through the window and placed a slight spotlight on me. My best friend, Molly, whispered to me about how great he looks today, which I already could tell. Of course Molly likes Michael, it’s like she likes every single guy on planet Earth, who knows maybe even on Mars. I never liked his girlfriend. She had a whole lot of prep in her. Way to happy and popular for Michael. He needed someone more like me. And who’s more like me than me? Molly’s brother, Ryan, clicked the smooth black button on the radio as we listened to the static of the stations. Their Mom kind of ticks me off. She’s judgmental and strict, but whatever, my mom likes Molly which means I have to be her friend, and accept her Mom’s senile self.
We made it to the door which Michael held for all of us. Over the aroma of fresh out of the oven pizza and bread sticks, I could no longer smell Michael’s tempting cologne. Then I reminded myself his girlfriends kind of in my way. Which can and will be arranged, but he wouldn’t like me anyway. Plus, he tells me I’m like a sister to him. I mean we’ve know each other since 5th grade.
“Hey Liz.” he stood in line and faced me. I glanced around the bright crowded restaurant, which looked like a Justin Bieber concert, to see if Molly or Ryan were anywhere near. They weren’t.
“Hey, how’s it going?” I said, grabbing a double chocolate chip brownie which seemed to jump into my hand. I placed it next to the Hawaiian pizza on my plate. I froze. I can’t believe I just asked him how he’s doing. Obviously not well due to Miranda.
“It’s going good, I guess. Just a lot on my mind, you know, with Miranda going missing. It’s been extremely hard on me, like when your dad passed. I just wish they would find her already.” He poked at the steamy, meat-filled pizza on his plate. I could always tell when something goes wrong but suddenly, Michael hid his feelings deep inside his expressions. It’s strange. Michael told me everything.
I stood there blank faced white as a ghost. What was I going to say? “I heard about that, I’m terribly sorry.”
“It’s alright. She supposedly went missing the day of our 2 year anniversary.
He started to walk away, and then stopped. “I like your hair like that, looks good.” Then he turned and walked away. Of course, I just came back from vacation but still, why wouldn’t Molly tell me? I watched him walk back to the table as if nothing stood in his way. This old lady with a gray beehive hairdo bumped in to me and told me to “scoot my boot.” I slowly, but casually, walked back to the table. I wanted to seem concerned but I couldn’t seem to feel the loss as much as he did. I couldn’t face the facts. I saw Molly carefully place her hand on Michael’s shoulder. I saw the concerned face, but underneath I knew it was just a scam to get closer to Michael.
I sat down next to Molly and across from her brother, Ryan. Molly’s Mom came and plopped down next to me. Ugh! Could this day get any worse? But just when I thought that, I stood up and flung my chair backwards. This wasn’t happening. The sticky Diet Coke runs off the table like a waterfall to my skin tight leggings. “Really dude, you can’t put deodorant on but you can manage this?” I said taking a few steps away from the table. I looked over to Michael. I could feel my face beginning to redden like a tomato. I started to notice my eyes begin to water. I ran out to the brand new paved streets. The pinkish blue sky made for the perfect moment, just at the wrong time.
Moments later, I looked through the window and watched Ryan and Molly laugh like there was no tomorrow. What a great friend. I sat against the wall and leaned my head back. I crunched my knees to my chest. Why do bad things happen to good people?
I heard the chime of the door opening and the smell of the pizza wafted my way. I didn’t look up. I heard the chime again. And felt a hand on my shoulder. Seconds later, surprised, I opened my eyes. I saw Michael crouching down next to me. As we sat there on the side walk close enough to touch but far enough to have some time to think. I thought of all the possibilities all the what if’s and how so’s.
He sat down; wiping what he knew was tears and the runny makeup from my eyes, making me look like a raccoon on a rainy day. I leaned my head on his shoulder; he wrapped his arm around me. We were always there for each other. I don’t understand how he doesn’t realize that we would be perfect together.
“Michael!” Ryan came barging out of the door and prancing over to where we sat. Michael jumped up. “It’s about Miranda.” Oh god what could it be?
“What is it?” Michael asked.
“The hospital called my Mom about Miranda. They found her in Hoover Woods with stab wounds and cuts. She supposedly tripped because her leg is broken in three different places and her ankle is also broken.” Michael was crushed, almost as much as Miranda’s lost, but found, beaten up body sounded to be.
Later that day, we were sitting in room 224 next to the bed where Miranda lie. She suffered, barely breathing and all beaten up and swollen. Her blue eyes open wide but not able to see, her long skinny pale body lay unconscious and stiff, her blonde hair now brown from the dirt of the woods. The nurse walked in and looked strangely at us. “Have you heard anything from the doctor Mrs. Nicerous?” Michael asked.
“She’s slowly making improvements. It’s still unknown at this moment.”
I needed to leave the room. I asked Michael if he wanted to get some fresh air. We took the elevator this time, walking out the double doors. But just when we hit the cold, fall air, we heard the yelling of our names. The nurse came running, quick and out of breath. She told us the news about Miranda. It was good news, on Michael’s part, I could tell by the expression on his face. He was shocked. But excited. Miranda started to wake up. I felt my heart fall out of my chest when Michael started running, fast like a cheetah to Miranda’s room. When suddenly, he stopped and turned around. He pulled me in his arms and kissed me. It took me a minute to register what had just happened.
I snapped back to reality. This could not be happening. I’m just a backup plan, a candle in the wind. I walked away with my back towards him. I couldn’t help but wonder what he would think if he actually knew what happened the night Miranda went missing.